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Cruel Summer: Further Excerpts from a 1993 Diary 

Wednesday, May 30 2012

What follows are actual entries from a tiny, mysterious diary discovered at the Goodwill at 822 Geary by former SF Weekly Copy Editor Vicky Walker. When last we checked in with our mysterious diarist ("Remembrance of Things Dreary," Feb. 15), 1993 had dawned thick with kind of dispiriting mysteries: Who was the strange woman at Carl's Jr.? What was the "bad scene" at Jack in the Box? What to make of the $34,750 check our diarist greeted with a confounded "When? What for?" And what, pray tell, is meant by the last entry we covered, from March 27, 1993: "Very heavy rain. Huge crowds at mall. Peep hole in door — very poor job. Very discouraged."

Our diarist — a fast-food enthusiast and frequent patron of the Gangway bar in the Tenderloin — greeted the summer with a trip to Santa Clara, some confusion involving a bagel, and more of that haunting ennui that makes this 1993 strangely compelling.

Thursday, April 29: Another day of dodging. Gangway incident. Abandoned her at three foster homes. Could I do better? Fate — God's hand.

Wednesday, May 5: Carl's Jr. not too good. The problem is me.

Thursday, May 13: Cattie at Gangway. Busby Berkeley Extravaganza. Waiting for something. Time to start.

Saturday, May 15: Gangway event okay. Good thinking. Male — Female Real — Unreal.

Tuesday, May 18: Trouble with cement drying.

Wednesday, May 19: Nice day. Still very confused. What? When? Call to Betty.

Thursday, May 27: Unsatisfactory day. Much confusion. Bagel — what?

Friday, May 28: Trip to Coast Guard station. Lady with 10 dogs abandoning one dog.

Sunday, May 30: Fat woman at Dunlaps. Things not going well at donut shop.

Monday, June 7: Kenny Rogers, Statler Brothers discs. Still falling behind.

Tuesday, June 15: Clinton has first good press conference.

Thursday, June 17: Opportunities at Gangway. Opportunities at Burger King. Marina a def. possibility. Very inadequate behavior on my part. Prior planning prevents poor performance.

Friday, June 18: Not going about things properly. No more Gangway. Don't belong.

Wednesday, June 23: Burger King tomorrow. Very hot.

Thursday, June 24: Disney film sign up. Very interesting conversation — homeless? Who? What is a home?

Saturday, June 26: Trip to Fort Mason. Many purchases. Sister Act II still being filmed far into the night. Mystery on Ellis.

Friday, July 2: Burger King on Market — ugly stuff.

About The Author

Alan Scherstuhl


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